Federal Judge Rules Healthcare Reform Unconstitutional

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A federal judge in Florida has ruled the Obama administration’s healthcare overhaul is unconstitutional. The ruling sides with 26 states that have sued to block it, including Ohio.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said the law violates people’s rights by forcing them to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face penalties.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said the ruling vindicates his and other states’ contention that the coverage mandate is unconstitutional. While DeWine said he likes some parts of the reform law, he said the entire measure is in jeopardy if courts uphold the Florida court’s ruling.

“Congress did not put a severability clause in the law, which means, most scholars who have looked at this, and apparently Judge Vinson as well, felt if this part of the bill goes down, the entire bill goes down,” DeWine said.

DeWine predicts it could take at least a year for the case to work its way through the courts – likely going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Although two other federal judges have upheld the insurance requirement, a federal judge in Virginia ruled it unconstitutional as well.